Review: Fables – The Wolf Amongst Us

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Telltale hit gold with season one of The Walking Dead. TWD isn’t what they are all about though – the masters of interactive story-telling are back; this time putting their spin on cult graphic novel series, Fables. Cameron Harris reviews episode one, “Faith”, of Fables: The Wolf Amongst Us

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Annoyed you haven’t been presented with another instalment of The Walking Dead? Don’t be. Telltale’s Wolf Among Us has proved that it wasn’t the TWD franchise which made that series so great.

Admittedly, when we first heard about Telltales the new title eyebrows were raised: a hard-boiled noirish cop story featuring fairytale characters set in the real-world. After playing it – I’ve been proved wrong. It’s safe to say that Wolf Among Us is a mature crime thriller. A good one too. The lead protagonist Bigby Wolf, formally known as The Big Bad Wolf (of blowing down harmless houses belonging to certain three little piggies – Fairytale Ed) – is the sheriff of Fabletown, and he’s decided to turn, well, ‘good’. Through magic potions, fairy tale characters, such as Bigby have been able to change their form from big hairy wolf – to a rather rough, yet good-looking human (though these ‘glamours’ are expensive and not all Fables can afford them). Wolf is not the only one: a large variety of previous childhood characters have left their magical homeland (there’s sure to be more backstory on this at some point) and come to the grand ol’ Big Apple. It’s fairly peaceful, until one of them turns up dead…

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If you were to take The Walking Dead, slap some L.A. Noire into it, add a splash of the film Drive and add a fairytale twist – you’ll have The Wolf Among Us. Mechanically, it looks nice – fight scenes are smooth and have been given an overhaul since The Walking Dead, the graphics are a lot smoother than Telltale’s previous title, aside from a few choppy frame-rate issues. This game looks and plays quite differently from TWD – it wears its noirish trappings on its sleeve and the whole game is underpinned by it; from looks, to dialogue and sound. Saying that, the point and click way of doing things has stayed just the same.

It’s another game where your choices result in different consequences; and remember it was always The Walking Dead’s problem that the choices you made, never really had a knock on, cataclysmic affect, the final episode largely played out the same for everyone (a point Telltale has conceded). Only episode one has been released of The Wolf Among Us so far and decisions have been made already –  however, it’s hard to tell whether these decisions  will have major or minor consequences. It does seem that Telltale are aiming to take on this task and this first instalment shows promise.

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Based on the comic series, Fables; The Wolf Among Us series shows nothing but promise and Telltale on fine form. When the writing is this great it’s clear this series is going to be another groundbreaker. A grim fairy take, yes. It’s also really impressive stuff.

9.0/10

– Cameron Harris. Tell him who’s the fairest of them all @c4meronh4rris

The Wolf Amongst Us episode one is available to download now on XBLA, PSN and Steam. Don’t miss out.

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One comment on “Review: Fables – The Wolf Amongst Us

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